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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  August 23, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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individual as they did he could have lost a lot of blood. >> heroic work. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the soldiers say that after the man was taken to the hospital they finished up their run. of course they did. that's it for "the lead" i'm jack tapper. right now i turn you over to jessica yellin in for wolf blitzer in "the situation room." >> breaking news, the jury find the gunman in the fort hood shooting massacre guilty. we'll go live to fort hood, texas. >> plus, president obama's first comments on reports of terrifying chemical gas attacks in syria in an exclusive interview with cnn. details and chris cuomo about the horrific new images shocking the world. >> and the country's most dangerous job revealed. it has a death rate topping any other american profession. the details of a surprising new report just ahead. wolf blitzer is off. i'm jessica yellin, you're in
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"the situation room." we begin now with breaking news out of fort hood, texas where a military jury has found army psychiatrist major nidal hasan guilty on 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the november 2009 shooting rampage. the conviction makes him eligible for the death penalty. and cnn is in fort hood, texas. ed, you have been following this closely. what is next in all of this for nidal? >> well, you know, jessica, the verdict hardly has been a surprise given hasan's first word in the trial were that "clearly this evidence was going to show i was the shooter." the guilty verdicts today by no means ape surpri surprise. we move on to the sentencing phase, punishment phase. that will start monday morning. because of the convictions and
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guilty verdicts in the murder charges, nidal hasan is eligible for the death penalty. minimum sentence he could receive is life in prison. the testimony begins. prosecutors will call 19 witnesses starting monday morning. many include at least one family member from each of the victims that die, as well as the three other soldiers wounded in the attack as well. so you will hear directly again from those people. it's not exactly clear what nidal hassan will do. finished telling the judge a while ago. he will continue to represent himself in the sentencing phase. the judge told him she thought that was unwise. the decision he continues to make. as you know, jessica, hasan over the last three weeks had very little input into the trial. asking very few questions he acted as his own attorney and assisting attorneys early on said they believe that hasan was working with the prosecution to ensure he get the death penalty. >> it is so unusual.
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ed, if he does get the death penalty it might be the first time in some 50 years we see that in a military trial. what would some of the family members you have talked to say they would look to happen to him? >> you know it is interesting. i spoke with the husband of one of the survivors. the victims, and testified throughout the course of the trial, not allowed to speak because the judge is not alug that to happen until the trial is over. but of the husband of one of the victims told me in his words that he thought the death penalty would be too lenient a sentence. he would prefer to see nidal hasan spend his life in prison. he is listening to hasan be sentenced to the death penalty. he doesn't want to give it to him. dictate, or get what he want in this case. an interesting twist on what is going on. regardless, you will see prosecutors push strongly for the death penalty starting monday morning. >> something we'll follow closely. thank you so much, ed for your
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ongoing reporting on this case. and joining us on the phone from mckinney, texas, is leila willingham, her brother, jason dean hunt, was killed in the fort hood shooting massacre. leila, our hearts and thoughts go out to you and your family at this time. what are your feelings now that you have heard this verdict? >> just not a surprising verdict at all. he admitted at the beginning of the trial, he was the shooter. a guilty verdict is not surprising. >> talk to us for a moment, your brother jason. he served in iraq. he was 22 years old when he was killed under 4 years ago. i imagine this is hard for you to talk ta bout. what would you look people to know about him? >> the people who love him remember him for who he was. a very neat, loving, very smart, intellige intelligent, sweet human being. who was very proud of what he accomplished in the military. and was very happy to be doing
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what he loved. >> you heard the reporter say a moment ago, army major nidal hasan's attorneys believe he may want the death penalty so he can be seen as a martyr by some. i understand you spoke to nidal's attorney. what did you find out about hasan by talking to him? >> i did have a private meeting with major hasan's attorneys. i wanted to get insight on his quality of life and feelings. i learned surprising things about him. the reason why he did not, according to his attorney did not cross-examine any of the witnesses he did not want to cause any further harm to, to the victims. i thought that was a very surprising statement from him. >> after he admits to having shot so many now he, at the same time didn't want to harm those
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who are still living. i'm curious then you wanted ans ears but what your brother's final moments were about. you attended the trial. did you get any of the answers? >> i did. it was very, very difficult. we saw pictures and videos. the crime scene video. we saw autopsy photos. i saw a picture of my brother with holes in his back. i mean it was horrifying and awful. but it did give me answers as far as where he was, how he was shot, who helped him. i did get a lot of those answers. but, more so in the meeting with major hasan's attorneys. i got some more, i wouldn't say closure, just some more pieces of the puzzle i needed to be able to move on. >> i understand you feel there is no closure. at least information is helpful. in that light it is now on to the penalty phase. army major nidal hasan could face the death penalty. are you worried the death penalty would be a victory for
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him. he could be seen as a martyr? >> i actually feel very differently than that. and you know everybody has, is entitled to their own opinion. i can't imagine what it is look to look at the man who shot you, look him in the eye, be confronted with him again. but i am not a supporter of the death penalty. i don't believe it is any body's right to take another man's life. even his. i know as a family member who has lost somebody what it's lack tlack -- like to go through that. i met major hasan's family as well. they're very good people. i know what they would have to go through if he was in fact sentenced to death. >> i'm interested about this. major hasan was not tried as a terrorist. that did allow the case to go more quickly than it might have gone itch he were in a -- another kind of -- proceeding. but do you wish he had been tried as a terrorist?
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>> i do. the main reason for that is, there are a lot of victims who are not receiving proper support that they need. if he was classified as a terrorist. hasan himself admitted he is an enemy of the united states. which is the exact verbiage needed to obtain a purple heart. and if those victims receive that status and they receive a purple heart for being in a hospital -- hostile fire with an enemy of the united states. they can receive medical benefits and support that they desperately need. >> all right. leila willingham. grateful for your time. very, very deeply sorry for your loss. >> thank you. >> thank you. in another military court today, a u.s. soldier who admitted he gunned down 16 afghanistan civilians during a 2012 rampage was sentenced to life in prison without parole. 39-year-old army staff sergeant, robert bales pleaded guilty to
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30 criminal charges against him including 16 premeditated murder counts this year. >> when we come back -- he is a government employee who also happens to be a black supremacist warning of an imminent race war. just ahead details on his online tirades are now getting a lot of attention. >> plus, a raging wildfire burning inside yosemite national park. the latest on the blaze that is already charred more than 100,000 acres. [ male announcer ] a guide to good dipping.
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through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. >> he is a militant black nationalist ranting about whites and gays and warning of an imminent race war. he works in federal law enforcement and now his online tirades are attracting a lot of attention. cnn crime and justice correspondent joe johns is with
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us with more. joe, this is a bizarre case to say the least. >> it certainly is. and it is our understanding government is investigating the situation even though they tell us that they frankly cannot discuss personnel matters. this is a very strange case indeed, jess. >> we need warriors, militant [ bleep ] kickers. >> reporter: he is 39 years old and what's troubling many is that he is a federal law enforcement employee with the department of homeland security in immigration and customs enforcement. >> that is how we are going to put a foot in the -- and bring an end to him or planet earth with black male aggression. >> reporter: moonlighting videos on the internet attracting attention. >> ain't nobody going to be allowed to confuse us and make us think that when we see a black man that is a warrior that we are looking at a --
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>> his website called "war on the horizon" says his purpose is preparing black people for an unavoidable clash with the white race. >> he is propagating serious hate including mass extermination of whites. anti-gay, anti-semitic material on there. it is really, really extreme. >> reporter: the liberal leaning southern poverty law center. he is known as an irritated genie, the fiery black nationalist. while there are thousand of hate videos and web sites. what makes war on the horizon different is the apparent connection to a government employee. >> you can't as an employee of dhs just do whatever you want. you have to report this kind of material. given the sensitive nature of the law enforcement work. >> reporter: i.c.e. put out a statement -- ice does not condone any type of hateful rhetoric or advocacy of violence of any kind against anyone. every ice employee is held to
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the highest standard of ethical c conduct. >> but both left and right have strong reactions including sarah palin who called it "unflipping believable." >> we reached out to him on the phone today and by e-mail with no response. he apparent leap wly wasn't at . government m ployiemployees havt clearances for activities. the department of homeland security would not comment when we asked if he had fully disclosed the nature of his outside activities. so far no indication from the government he has been suspended or placed on administrative leave. >> i have a feeling they will be looking into this one pretty thoroughly. >> thank you, joe, so much. >> world war ii veteran who survived being shot during the battle of okinawa did not survive an assault by two teenagers. they robbed him and beat him to death in the parking lot of his eagles lodge in spokane,
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washington. and cnn has more on the latest random act of deadly violence. hi, what are police telling you? >> police continue to search for the second suspect. they're asking for the public's help. that suspect is 16-year-old keenan adams kinard. police send out the poster with his picture. wanted for first degree robbery and murder. the other suspect, is also 16, he was arrested last night. he has been charged with the crime. now the victim in all of this is 88-year-old delbert belton known as "shorty." a world war ii veteran, and retired aluminum company worker and also a regular at an eagles lodge where he was waiting outside for a friend to play pool wednesday night. that's when belton was robbed and beaten in the parking lot. the murder appears to have been random. now this killing comes days after police in oklahoma say three teens shot and killed a 23-year-old australian college
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baseball player. the suspects in that case, jessica, are in custody. >> alina, any indication of what the cause of death was in this case? >> yeah, the coroners office, ruled belton's death a homicide. died from blunt, facial and head injuries. >> alina. thank you for the report. coming up. police record a female dui suspect undressing and using the toilet. details of a new lawsuit. >> plus, president obama speaking bluntyly about washington gridlock. he talks exclusively to cnn's chris cuomo. all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
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let's take a quick look at some of the other top stories in the "situation room." the rim wildfire burning inside yosemite national park with 11,000 acres now impacted near the reservoir. there was explosive growth in the last 24 hours, the fire grew by 63 square miles. it's charred more than 105,000 acres of the sierra. two mosques bombed in lebanon, the moment of explosion captured on closed circuit tv. the twin blasts killed more than two dozen people. 600 are injured. it happened in tripoli. there is concern it is a seen of growing sectarian tension between supporters and opponents of the syrian regime. the state news agency says both mosques have ties to syrian rebels. police in washington state have been hit with a lawsuit alleging officers videotaped dui suspects deemed attractive undressing and using the toilet.
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the plaintiffs are 11 women and one man. their attorney says the jail was look a peep show. police and the city deny any wrongdoing saying the video monitoring is part of jail safety. >> and for the first time since 2004, logging is the nation's most dangerous job. according to bureau of labor statistics, 64 loggers were killed last year. more than double the rate from four years ago. the death rate for loggers is nearly 40 times hyperthigher th the average u.s. worker. the high rate could be because of a boom in home construction that may have forlgsed the industry to hire more inexperienced workers. >> and all eyes are on the smithsonian zoo pandas-cam. the giant panda is in labor. zoo officials don't think this is a false alarm. they just tweeted the labor could last up to ten hours.
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folks across the nation have watched this panda closely and especially here in washington, d.c. zoo staff members saw mae's water break around 4:00 this afternoon. we will continue to watch this one closely. and coming up -- president obama talks about his call to the georgia school shooting hero, sharing details in an exclusive interview with cnn's chris cuomo. she loves a lot of the same things you do. it's what you love about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use
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happening now -- chemical horror in syria puts more pressure on the u.s. to do something. now the pentagon is taking another look at potential targets. >> president obama talks exclusively to cnns chris cuomo about college costs, washington gridlock and more. >> we'll hear from both a school shooting hero and president obama about their phone call. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jessica yellin. you're in "the situation room." >> president obama is wrapping up his two-day bus tour through upstate new york and pennsylvania today. but not without stopping to sit down with cnns chris cuomo for an exclusive wide-ranging interview. in it the president talked about a number of criticaler use fa i facing the country including gridlock here in washington. take a look. >> let's come back home. because you could make the
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argument, the most per loss situation for the president of the united states exists in washington, d.c., right. you have had a very difficult legislative situation that you have had to deal with down there. >> there hasn't been a legislative session as far as i can tell. >> if you judge on the basis of past legislation. there is a lot going on. >> a lot of talk. >> a lot of talking going on. what the police islace is about days. when they get back in session, do you believe you know the way to get things done for the american people so we don't have another shutdown of the government which effectively punishes everybody but the law makers? >> there is a very simple way of doing this. which is the senate passed a budget. and the house passed a budget. and, you know -- maybe you are not old enough to remember schoolhouse rock. >> i remember it. >> remember how the bill gets passed. the house and the senate try to -- work out their differences. they pass something. they send it to me. and potentially i sign it.
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and, you know -- we look to make things complicated. but this is actually not that complicated. the job of congress, congress doesn't have a whole lot of core responsibilities. one core responsibility is passing a budget. which they have not done yet. the other core responsibility that they have got is to pay the bills that they have already accru accrued. if congress simply does those two things when they get back. then the economy can continue to recover and -- folks out there who were working hard were trying to find a job, will have some sense of stability. and we can start thinking about things like college education and some of the big structural changes we have to continue to make sure ensure we are competitive. >> nobody knows belter than you it is a big part of the job of the president to make that happen. how much of the lack of action in washington do you putton or seor -- put on yourself in terms of blame? >> look, ultimately the buck
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stops with me. so anytime we are not moving forwarded on thing that should be simple -- i get frustrated. and, you know i have said before. i continue to say. i am willing to do whatever it takes to get congress and republicans in congress in particular to think less about politics and party and think more about what is good for the country. there is nobody out there who thinks that us not paying bills we have already racked up is good for the economy, is appropriate. that america losing its reputation and the full faith and credit of the united states would somehow improve the prospects of working families or businesses around the country. nobody thinks that. so why are we even talking about that. why aren't we just getting that done? when it comes to the budget. we know that we shouldn't be cutting more on core investments
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like education that are going to help us grow in the future. and we have haul ready sealread deficit cutten half. going down faster than any time in the last 60 years. why would we make more cuts in edge kaegs aucation and basing . nobody thinks that is a good idea. now finally what we have got is republicans talking about the idea, shut down the government. bad for the economy, bad for not just people that work for the government, all the can tracton, defense folks, everybody who is impacted by the services that they receive from the federal government we should shut that down because republicans. after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of obama care see this as their last gasp. nobody thinks that's good for the middle-class. so the question is ultimately if you are putting the american people first, if you are prioritizing them, then this
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shouldn't be that difficult. i have made this argument to my republican friends privately. and by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, i agree with you. but -- i am worried about a primary from -- somebody in the tea party back in my district. or i am worried about -- rush limbaugh is going to say about me on the radio. so you have got to understand i'm -- it's really difficult. well you know what? i can't force these folks to do what's right for the american people. because they're independently elected. a separate branch of government. i don't have a vote in congress. but what i sure as heck can do is stay focused on what i know will be good for the american people. >> frustrated sounding president obama. we'll discuss that, those comments in a moment. first, much of the president's focus on his bus trip has been on colleges. and the skyrocketing costs of getting an education. he talked to chris cuomo about that as well. here's what he had to say there.
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>> the problem we have got right now is that on, when it comes to liberals they have tended to say, let's just give more money to the system. and increase student loans. and grant and aid. and then, you know you have some on the right, who have said money doesn't matter. and young people should be able to figure it out on their own. what we're saying is, no we should provide more help to young people. government shouldn't be in the job of profitting from students who need to go to college. but we should also expect something from the colleges which is their controlling their costs better and expect something from the students. one of the problem we found is that a lot of of students because in part they're not well-informed are taking out a lot of loans, but not thinking through how fast they need to graduate. they never graduate. can't pay back the loans. that means the taxpayer is getting stuck. the young person is no better off than they would have been they're worse off. >> true. where we say it is a priority,
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this matters the most, this is the new reality for our economy is what you know. >> exactly. >> you can tie it to the treasury rate. you make sure that students are going to borrow at a rate, much hy higher than banks get. our government is effectively allowing banks to loan to whomever they want and borrow at 0%. they're going to borrow the student at twice the rate of a home mortgage. why not make this the new home mortgage. treat it like that. get the rates lopwer so student don't pay the most, more than banks and homeowners. >> chris, because of the deal that was cut. they're not going to borrow at a rate higher than your mortgage. that happened because congress hadn't acted. they hadn't done anything. now the key here to understand though is that -- the student interest rate need to stay low. but if you are borrowing $100,000 and you are a teacher and you are making $35,000, then, whether the interest rate
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is 3%, 4%, 5% or 6%. >> you are underwater. you are going to be underwater. what we need to do is how can you come out with less debt in the first place and keep the interest rates low. and that is achievable. but to do that everybody is going to have to work together. >> all right. a lot to chew over in that. and to barareak it all down, cn chief political correspondent, candy crowley anchor of "state of the union" and michael scherer. candy, let me start with you. we heard what the president had to say. congress and how difficult republicans can be. listen to what his republican friend, senator tom coburn had to say about president obama on wednesday. >> what you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president.
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and that's called impeachment. [ applause ] but that -- you know, that's not something you take lightly. and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means. you know, i -- i think there is some intended violation of law in this administration. but i also, but i also think there is a ton of incompetence. of people who are making decision decisions. >> candy, this is a man who is the president's friend. they cam e to congress together. saying this about a man who is his friend. does this make the president a lame-duck already? >> i think for a variety of reasons the president is fighting lame-duck status at this point. certainly we are, it's sooner rather than later for him. i think the question here is, first of all, he is in oklahoma,
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they're very angry about obama care. i listened to the 1:07 of it. i didn't get, he didn't say "let's go out and impeach the president." more the frustration you hear and i hear a lot. they think the president has exceeded his authority as president. that the justice department isn't replying to investigators. et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, more institutional thing that happens a lot. the "i" word is pretty incendiary. and tend to turn off moderate voters. >> michael, what is the signal to you, coburn usually one of the guys willing to stand up to his constituents, stand on principle, is willing to go there? >> just a soon of polarization. remember when townhalls were a place where we thought american people got to meet with members of congress and talk what they're interested in. what town halls have become are places to vent. they vent from one side. in a republican state. you go and get the most extreme elements of your base. who come there and -- are furious. and he is sort of channelling
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and trying to deal with that rage. you see it in a lot of town halls. >> then does the president have a point in what he said to chris. republicans are scared of some of their constituents? >> absolutely. >> absolutely they are. they're scared of a challenge from the right. there is, not sure about the rush limbaugh part as much as -- we absolutely know there are tea party challengers out there on the senate side. and the house side. willing to go after these guys. and the, totality actually of the coburn townhall was about why he wouldn't join ted cruz and others to shut down the government if they won't defund. a bad strategy. not going to work. people were not happy with the answer. >> we have heard the president talk about what he doesn't like from rush limbaugh, republicans in congress. what's his play? what can he do to get something done in the budget fights in the fall? >> he has to take it to the american people. i think he looks belter he s be.
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washington learned they have bad augusts. get hem oim out on the road. talking to the american people. than he does in washington talking how he can't do anything. this will be a campaign moment for the white house. next, two, three months very difficult. probably going to go wrong before it goes right. obama is not going to look good in the process. he has got to position himself. where he doesn't hatch much sway over what the republicans do. off to be on the side of the country, side of the american people and against washington. >> candy, is that his only play. to leave washington? this is the first year of his second term. >> it is for the moment. i will tell you, they, i know they are betting in the administration and this isn't something that republicans can win politically. and that they will not do it. because they know that there are, we have heard other republicans going "no we are not going to shut down the government." >> a difference between whether they can win, politically, or do it. the republicans have shown over and over again they will do things they can't win from
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politically. there is a letter out there with 80 members of the house. a third of the republican caucus in the house say they're for shutting down the government over obama care. a tricky, difficult. >> it is going to be where the house always does anykind of business, by pulling enough democrats over and enough republicans over. not pretty on the republican side. >> just a little bit shocking that at this point in the president's first year there is not a single major legislative accomplishment. we are saying that the best he can dupe o is leave washington make a case. >> the fever never broke. >> we said the fever would break. the fever han't broken. i have good news that could unify washington. very good news. hatch penned here in d.c. great for the nation too. the national zoo has just sweeted. a new panda cub has been born. >> been telling it to you guy. >> i really think this is the happiest thing that happened in washington in a while. >> hey, a new dog at the white
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house. >> animal week. >> how cute is this. >> born at 5:32 p.m. we will have more details. candy, tell me, this is a panda-cam. >> live panda cam from the national zoo. this is real action footage of, of the panda that just gave birth. >> look real hard. going to be a while before you see the baby panda. we all know a stick of butter thing, any time a panda is born. >> who can deny the picture. so cute. thank you to both of you. candy, michael, good to see you. >> ahead, vice president biden speaking publicly for the first time about his son's health scare. how much protein
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in his exclusive interview with cnn's chris cuomo, the president made his first comments about what appeared to be horrific new evidence of a chemical weapons attack in syria calling it quote "a big event of great concern." so what does the united states plan to do about it? cnn pentagon correspondent chris lawrence joins us now with new information from the pentagon. hey, chris. so, some of the images in your piece our audience might find graphic and disturbing. we want to warn them. tell us what you have. >> yeah, we don't show the body of children without a good reason. but this is potential evidence that chemical weapons were used. and here at the pentagon, officials have updated the target list for potential air strikes in syria. officials are telling us that assad's forces are moving. so the options available to president obama have to be
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current. every new image from the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in syria pushes president obama harder to defend his red line. >> what we have seen indicates this is clearly a big event of grave concern. >> the outrage among u.s. allies is building along with pressure to do more. >> this is not something that a humane or civilized world can ignore. >> brit, officials say inspectors need to analyze the evidence which is deteriorating by the hour. >> that means the u.n. team that is in damascus and 20 minutes travel away being able to get there and to investigate. >> reporter: even as russia called on syria to give the inspectors access, critics of the obama administration were asking -- why the new u.s. ambassador to the u.n. sent a deputy to the security council emergency session instead of attending herself? >> ambassador power is on a
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prearranged trip. >> reporter: critics took issue with samantha power tweeting from vacation overseas. hundred dead in streets. including kids killed by chem weapons. u.n. must get there fast and if true, persons must face justice. a u.s. official says power has come home and did participate remotely in national security meetings. the pentagon has just updated a list of potential targets in syria including the option of using cruise missiles to destroy assad's capability to deliver chemical weapons. syrian opposition forces say the u.s. has been so hesitant, the assad regime can ignore white house warnings. >> we will use chemical weapons again, take the red line and toss it in the garbage. >> officials stress what they presented to the president are updated military options and the risk associated with each. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has been outspoken in his warnings. general martin dempsey saying,
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al qaeda fighters are mixed among 50 factions fighting asad. right now he is not convinced if the opposition came to power today that it would take the best interests of the united states into account. jessica. >> chris, i have a feeling you are going to be very busy following this in the coming weeks. thank you for the reports. >> coming up a school shooting hero gets a call from president obama. both of them talking to cnn about it. [ male announcer ] at his current pace, bob will retire when he's 153,
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president obama was joined by his right hand man, joe biden
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on a bus tour today. he was with his son in texas as he underwent surgery. he spoke of it for the first time today. >> i just want y'all to know since you asked about my son. it's not only good to be here, but things are good in delaware. my son beau is fine, sends his love. he wanted me to say hello to all of you and he wanted to be with his colleague kathleen, the attorney general of the state of pennsylvania. he's doing well. he's getting back to work. >> the president's bus tour is somewhat reminiscent of the campaign trail and cnns senior white house correspondent is here with the details. jim, you have followed him for a long time today.
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it's been a long one. >> reporter: it has. something you know very well. as the president was gearing up for the final day of the bus tour, a white house spokesman was talking about the chemical spill in syria. the president had a tricky balancing act on his hands all week. there's no election in sight, but president obama was in full campaign mode traveling in the white house bus from new york to pennsylvania, kicking around his ideas for controlling college costs for students, taking friendly questions at a town hall meeting. >> if you want to get called on, wear the president's face on your shirt. >> reporter: republicans threatening a government shutdown. >> they are worried about primaries in the upcoming election. that can't be how we run a country. >> reporter: half a world away,
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brutal images of the dead, many of them children after a chemical attack in syria is a reminder the commander in chief has business to attend to in washington. >> you cannot have a president seen on a campaign style mode when people are being slaughtered in the middle east. >> reporter: the white house said the president should be able to do two things at once. >> this is something that is going to require america's attention and hopefully the entire community's attention. >> reporter: mr. obama indicated time is running out on syrian leaders. >> is it safe to say we have a shorter time frame now in terms of what the u.s. can use as a period of decision in egypt? >> yes. >> nearly one year after he gave syria the red line warning against chemical attacks, the president said he will continue to take his time. how long is the issue.
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>> he now has to follow through with some sort of policies. >> reporter: with the vice president appearing, republicans complained the two-day trip is all politics. calling it a kick off to a biden 2016 campaign. the president's supporters say they are glad he's focusing on his issues. >> my first year, i'm okay with loans, but i don't want to be crippled with it. >> reporter: there should be an emphasis on the economy. >> employment is an issue. i have a degree but i need to get employed. >> reporter: white house spokesmen stressed to reporters they are on what he calls an upward trajectory. it's an indication the white house wants the world to know they are doing something about syria while figuring out what to do next. as the president was wrapping up his remarks, campaign style feel
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out here in scranton where he and the vice president were here earlier this afternoon. the president mentioned his former 2012 rival, mitt romney when talking about obama care saying it used to be a republican idea. the governor of massachusetts tried it up there and it's working out well. definitely a campaign style feel out here today. >> he gave biden a shoutout saying picking biden was the best move. great reporting, get some rest. >> reporter: thank you. john king takes over here in the "situation room." he'll be watching a looming vote on the san diego mayor, bob filner. the city counsel is voting on whether he will keep his job. we'll hear from a school shooting hero and president obama about their phone call with one another. ingeniously uses radar to alert you to possible collision threats.
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happening now, the san diego mayor may give his critics what they have been demanding after an embarrassing sexual harassment scandal. president obama weighs in on a chemical weapons attack in syria. stand by to hear the president at length. a wildfire scorching an american treasure. we'll get a live update in yosemite national park. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off. i'm john king and you are in the "situation room." one of the most disgraced politicians in america right now may be moments away from publicly announcing his
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resignation. the san diego mayor, filner may step down after 18 women stepped forward accusing him of sexual harassme harassment. they are reviewing a deal to get his resignation. casey wian joins us now from city hall. do we expeblgt the mayor to be gone? >> reporter: that's the expectation. they have been behind closed doors for almost an hour now after listening to public comments for an hour. they have 40 different speakers weighing in on the proposed deal. it's interesting. no one know what is the deal is. we know it provides for mayor filner to step down. we suspect and presume that the deal includes some sort of financial settlement with the mayor. that would be indemnity against claims of sexual harassment. one is filed with a former employee. a lot of speakers who addressed
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the counsel urged them to get the mayor away and out of town and stop being a distraction to the city. a large number of speakers said they did not want the city counsel to accept any kind of deal to hold taxpayers responsible. they said they prefer to alaw the recall process, that has been ongoing for a week to go forward. let the city residents of san diego show the world they can actually remove filner at the ballot box rather than having the city council doing it behind closed doors. they could come out anytime. once they do, they will give us the settlement. they expect mayor filner, himself, will address the media and the public after this is done. john? >> casey wian, thank you so much.
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let's move on. questions about the killing of a australian man in oklahoma. he was killed by teenagers who wanted to kill for sport. racism and a possible gang connection. let's get the latest on the case and talk of an australian boycott on the united states. joining me is jason hicks, thank you so much for your time. a lot of people are trying to understand this case. what can you tell us about the moments leading up to the shooting. some reports said they were just bored, some say it was a racial crime. what motivated them? >> i know there were comments made earlier that one of the suspects made a comment they did it out of boredom. i have been asked a lot with respect to the race issue. i don't believe it's a racial crime at all. i have nothing in my files, paperwork or audio recordings
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that suggest that christopher lane was killed because of his race or nationality. i tend to think that the police chief's comment that is they did it out of boredom are probably accurate. with respect to the race issue, again, we don't have anything that is going to lead us to believe it is a racially motivated crime. the suspects, the three we have at this time, one is a white male, one a black male and the third a biracial male. his mother is white and dad is black. we don't have a situation where it's three blacks that killed a white. this is a mix with respect to the suspects. i don't believe race played any part in this. >> if you look at the tweets of james edward jr., with my, use the "n" word, 90% of white
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people are nasty. you don't see the three of them as racially motivated, could one of them have been? >> i have seen some of the tweets. i don't necessarily want to say they played anything in the role of the death of christopher lane. the investigation doesn't suggest that's why he lost his life. >> i understand there's a surveillance tape of the suspects car. can you tell us how important it is as evidence and show you anything else that will be important in the profession? >> well, it's crucial in the prosecution because it established a time frame from the time that the suspects left the scene of the crime to the time they get to the restaurant approximately a mile away. it establishes that they were there with the cooperation we have from one of the defendants at this time, we can put them there and back at the courthouse a few minutes later. it's crucial to our case to have that piece of evidence. >> as you know, this case has
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attracted worldwide attention because the victim is from australia. i want you to listen to the australian ambassador talking about what he believes to be one of the key causes here, an american gun culture. >> most australians are not just australians would be amazed by the american gun culture and the state of american law in that regard. >> what was the rate of gun death last year. obviously, there's guns there. >> of course there would be illegal guns. it's part of -- >> criminal culture. >> there are 40 deaths last year in australia. 40. previous to the laws there were 100 so a substantial cut there. >> a different gun culture, access to guns, is that a factor here? >> well i don't -- i don't believe that one more law inside the united states would have changed the outcome of this particular case. it's already illegal in this
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state for a 15, 16, 17-year-old to have possession of a .22 caliber revolver. one more law would not have prevented them from having a gun and taking the life of christopher lane on the side of the road. >> thank you for your time today. >> thank you. up next, the california wildfire doubled in size in a couple days. the state fire official is standing by to tell us how bad it is right now. and stand by for the first video of a baby panda born minutes ago at the national zoo here in washington. every day we're working to be an even better company - and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america. bp supports nearly 250,000 jobs here. through all of our energy operations, we invest more in the u.s. than any other place in the world. in fact, we've invested over $55 billion here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor.
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[ woman #2 ] we are the united states postal service. [ male announcer ] we are the united states postal service. and our priority is you. go to® and try it today. and our priority is you. and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors, where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie. sorry, honey. a fast moving california wildfire is burning in one of america's most popular national parks. a remote section of yosemite scorching acres of the park. daniel, let me start with the
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basic question in terms of containment, where are you in that fight and do you see any end in sight here? >> this has been a very fast moving wildfire. this morning, the wildfire only 2% contained. the fact it's been able to double in size the last couple days made our job very difficult. we have a lot of resources battling the fire. over 2,000 firefighters on the front lines as we speak. it's unfortunately the dry conditions and the gusty winds make thg a difficult fire fight. >> it's a huge tourist attraction. how close is this to the tourist sights and how worried are you it will impact the destination at the end of the summer here? >> caller: the fire burned into the boundaries of the national park. it is not affecting the areas where most of the visitors go. however, highway 120, one of the major highway that is goes into the park has been closed for several days. obviously, visitors to the park
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are going to have to find alternative routes. >> it doubled in a day. are they optimistic looking forward or see it grow more? >> caller: this week throughout northern california, we have had thunderstorms over much of the state. they bring in dry lightning and gusty winds. it's been a busy couple days for us. we have several hundred lightning sparked fires. the wind caused b the thunderstorms make our job more difficult. the systems have moved out of california. unfortunately, it's good news but brings a return to the warm and dry conditions we would typically have for this time of year. >> fresh in our memory is the tragedy in arizona where 19 firefighters lost their lives. anything unique about this terrain or lessons learned from arizona that determine how this one is fought? >> this fire is burning in a very remote river canyon where access is very difficult.
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the mountainsides are steep and difficult to get our equipment through. it's dangerous country. in years passed, we have had firefighter fatalities in this area. it's always priority for us making sure our firefighter safety is paramount. we are going to aggressively attack the fire. we are using aircraft as well from the air trying to get into the areas. it is harder to get to. >> daniel berlant, we appreciate your time. we'll keep in touch. >> thank you. in the midst of this wildfire season, the u.s. forest service is running out of money to fight fires. tom is in the virtual studio. >> it's a matter of looking at time and money as you look at the fire season. the numbers tell the tale. let's look at it now. what we have currently and what they are dealing with is they
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have had so far about 33,000 fires. about 3 million acres burned. the budget is $1.7 billion. it's been reduced by sequestration and 10,000 firefighters out there. last year, they had 10,500. the simple truth is several factors have come into play. we have suppressed fires for so long, the intensity burning all the brush we saved in the past is profound. it's been exasperated by global warming and because we have built almost a third of our homes into the interface between the wildlands and the cities. there's more pressure on the agencies to try to stop the fires. all of that is burning up money as they try to deal with these, john. >> tom, someone out there might be saying this is a sense of deja vu. we hear about this every summer. is that the case? >> we do and we are going to
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hear more of it. back in 1985, if you took all the fires they were out there fighting, it was about the size of connecticut. most of them in the west but about that size. and, let me bring it in here and show you, this is the cost of fighting fires. 1985, the budget came out to be $240 million. that's how much it costs to fight the fires the size of connecticut, roughly. last year, 2012, let's go back to the big board here. we had about three connecticut's worth of fires out there. three times as much. so, let's come back to the number over here. if you wanted to compare it, we can expect this number to be three times as much for fighting it. about there. let's increase it to allow for inflation, up to here. maybe you are going to spend this much to have the same amount of fire fighting. look what's happened with the number. because of the intensity of the fire, the demands to protect
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homes is pushing almost $2 billion. it's well more than triple the amount we were spending back then and unless something changes and the conditions where we build our homes, how intention the fires are and the way we go about fighting them, this is going to continue in future summers. >> excellent perspective. tom, thank you so much. up next, the hero of the georgia school shooting. >> how are you doing? [ male announcer ] a man. a man and his truck... and a broken fence... and a lost calf. ♪ and the heart to search for as long as it takes. and the truck that lets him search for as long as it takes. ♪ the all-new chevy silverado.
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now to a heart warming story you will see only here on cnn. to sides of a phone conversation playing out in front of our cameras. one end of the line, antoinette tuff. on the other side of the line, the president of the united states. here is how it played out. moments before tuff sat down exclusively with anderson cooper to talk about the ordeal. >> before you came out here tonight, who called you? >> president obama. >> oh, wow. >> is that right? how was that? >> in the make-up room, awesome. oh, god it was awesome. >> what is that like when you hear the president is on the phone? >> i was like president obama, it's really you? you get the call and someone tells you the president is going to call. okay. when you hear the voice, you know it's the president. it was the best voice i could
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ever hear. couldn't have a better leader in place at this time. >> i appreciate you, too. i learned from the best. the best president in the world. no, that's me. you can't get any better when you have a great leader in front of you. >> what did he say to you? >> he wanted to let me know he and his wife and family was proud of what i did and everybody wanted to thank me. there was, you know, happy and glad for what i did and that it was, you know, for me being a hero and that hopefully one day he would be able to get to meet me. that would be, oh, just to see his face, to hear his voice, but to see his face would be awesome. >> if he wants to, they will make it happen. >> the president is going to make it happen. he talked about his chat with chris cuomo. >> when i heard the 911 call
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and, you know, read the sequence of events, i thought here is somebody who is not just courage and not just cool under press e pressure, but also had enough heart that somehow she could convince somebody that was troubled that she cared about them. i told her, i said that not only did she make michelle and me proud, but she saved a lot of lives, including the life of the potential perpetrator. >> she was calm in the face of the gunman. did she keep it calm when she got a call from the president of the united states? >> she was cool. she was happy about it. >> thank you. i greatly appreciate it. i'd like to meet you also. >> i think we will have to have her make a visit to the white house. the date has not been set. we'll try to get a camera there. up next, more of the exclusive conversation.
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president obama's first comments about a mass chemical strike in syria. my mantra? always go the extra mile. to treat my low testosterone, i did my research. my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet or body swelling;
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everything we can to be there for them when they need us. plus, you could save hundreds when you switch, up to $423. call... today. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? happening now, new images from a poison attack in syria. these images are more graphic than what you are seeing so far. we will see if it's a game changer. chris cuomo questions president obama on whether the red line has been crossed. stand by for that exclusive interview.
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the rare event. the birth of a panda. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm john king. you are in the "situation room." president obama is calling an alleged chemical weapons strike a big event of grave concern. the president spoke of it for the first time in an exclusive conversation with cnn "new day" anchor, chris cuomo. he asked if the red line has been crossed. the president seemed more urgent in responding, he was also cautious. here is the interview. >> let me ask you about the situations. most recently, syria. you have seen the images and know the situation very well. do you believe at this point you need to investigate in order to say, what seems obvious, the u.s. needs to do more. >> we are right now gathering
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information about this particular event. but, i can say that unlike some of the evidence that we are trying to get earlier that led to a u.n. investigator going into syria, what we have seen indicates this is clearly a big event. of grave concern. you know, we are already in communications with the entire international community. we are moving through the u.n. to try to prompt better action from them and we have called on the syrian government to allow investigation of the sight because inspectors are on the ground right now. we don't expect cooperation given their past history. what i do believe is that, although the situation in syria is difficult and the notion that the u.s. can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside syria is sometimes overstated. >> it can be deadly, right, mr.
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president? >> there is no doubt when you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale and, again, we are still gathering information about this particular event, but it's very troublesome. >> there's proof they used them in the past. >> it starts getting to some core, national interests that the united states has, both in terms of us making sure weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region. this is something that is going to require america's attention and hopefully the entire international communities attention. >> senator mccain came on "new day" very strong about this. he believes the u.s.'s credibility has been hurt. a situation like syria that he believes there's been delay and led to a boldness there. in egypt, what many believe was
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coup wasn't a coup. >> i'm sympathetic to senator mccain's passion for helping people work through what is an extraordinarily difficult and heart breaking situation. but what i think the american people expect me to do as president is to think through what we do from the perspective of what is in our long term national interest. sometimes what we have seen is that folks will call for immediate action, jumping into stuff that does not turn out well. gets us in very difficult situations, can result in us being drawn in to expensive, difficult, costly interventions that breed more resentment in the region. we have to think through what is
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going to be in our long term national interest as we work internationally to put pressure on those who would kill innocent civilians. >> the red line comment you made was about a year ago this week. we know there are things that should qualify as crossing that red line. >> chris, i have to say this, when we take action, take the example of syria. there are rules of international law. you know, if the u.s. goes in and attacks another country without a u.n. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it. do we have the coalition to make it work? and, you know, those are considerations we have to take into account. >> you don't think we have seen enough? >> this latest event is something we have to take a look at. keep in mind, also, chris
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because i know the american people keep it in mind. we have a war going on in afghanistan. we are still spending tens of billions of dollars in afghanistan. i will be ending that war by the end of 2014. but, every time i go to walter reed and visit wounded troops and every time i sign a letter for a casualty of that war, i'm reminded that there are costs and we have to take those into account as we try to work within an international framework to do everything we can to see assad ousted, somebody who lost credibility and restore a sense of a democratic process and stability inside of egypt. >> doesn't have to be military, of course, i take your point, mr. president. when you look at egypt, it's an example of that. senator mcconnell said hey, it's time to vote on the aid and whether or not you give it. it's a nonmilitary measure that could make a difference.
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>> my sense with egypt is that the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does, but i think what most americans would say is that we have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting action that is run contrary to our values and ideas. what we are doing now is doing a full evaluation of the u.s./egyptian relationship. we care deeply about the egyptian people. there was a space right after mr. morsi was removed which we do a lot of heavy lifting and work to encourage the military to move in a path of reconciliation. they did not take that opportunity. it was worth it for us to try that. despite folk who is wanted more immediate black and white action or statements.
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ultimately, what we want is a good outcome there. >> do we have a shorter time frame now in terms of what the u.s. can use as a period of decision in syria and egypt? >> yes. >> it's a more abbreviated time frame now? >> yes. >> up next, graphic and disturbing video aft poison attack in syria. the images and the impact. first, as we countdown to the cross fire here on cnn, co-host stephanie cutter brings us a classic. this classic cross fire is from a day after the 2000 presidential election. florida was obviously the center of attention and two of the state's own congressmen were on cross fire. >> how many dead men voted in florida and how do you know? >> i can report all the dead men and convicted felons voted for
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bob. congratulations on that, by the way. those are constituenci constituencies. you can say that about any state. let's see how it turns. >> i was beginning, joe, to respect your demeanor. this is a serious issue. let's not play politics or games. >> don't lose your sense of humor tonight. too big. too small. too soft. too tasty. [ both laugh ] [ male announcer ] introducing progresso's new creamy alfredo soup. inspired by perfection. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel.
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we have new and graphic video to show you from syria. we are told it was shot shortly
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after an alleged chemical attack. we think it's important to see the images. we must warn you, they are disturbing. fred, it's rare for a western reporter to get into syria. you are going to show us this video. tell us where it came from. >> reporter: well, it came from an independent film maker from great britain. they say the person who shot it is independent and quote, trustworthy. you are right, the video is very gruesome. it shows many killed, women and children. one thing we have to say is we need to be careful with this video. it doesn't prove or disprove anything. there was a chemical attack here in the damascus suburbs. take a look. this is said to be the first independent video in the suburbs of damascus. it was obtained by itv news
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saying they got it from a trustworthy independent film maker. the shots were taken in a town shortly after the incident on wednesday morning. i managed to speak to a woman who didn't want to be recognized. she was relatives there and got there after it was hit by chemical weapons. several relatives were killed. others remain gravely sick. they have very bad pain and their legs cannot carry them. if they want to go to the bathroom, they have to crawl on the floor. they have to drink water because they feel like they have to throw up all the time. they have bad headaches and cannot see. itis hard to tell which side used the alleged chemicals. both the syrian government and the opposition are accusing each other of staging the attacks. there's little doubt there was a
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large military operation under way by syrian government forces wednesday morning. we managed to get to an area in damascus where the incidents happened. people we spoke with here told us they didn't feel effects of nerve agents. in this area here, there were no chemicals. i didn't smell anything or feel anything, this man said. otherwise, we would not be here. i'm in the district and behind me, that is the last check point before you reach the district where the chemical weapons attacks took place. the military won't allow us to go further than we are now. all we can do is be here and get people from the area to try to get as many eyewitness accounts as we can. even the united nations weapons inspectors can't get close to the alleged sight, still waiting for permission from the government. with 1300 people allegedly killed in the attack and the u.n. saying time is of the
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essence, calls for an independent investigation are mounting in the international community. john, only an independent investigation can get to the bottom or try to get to the bottom of what exactly happened here on wednesday. it seems to be unclear when the u.n. investigators will be able to go out to that site, which, of course is strange considering the place they were staying at are only about five miles away from where this happened. >> great reporting in damascus. thanks so much. let's continue the conversation with the dean for international studies at john hopkins university. you see the horrific images. you heard the president in the exclusive interview with cnn. he sounded more aggressive. it's a big event and grave concern, we want to move quickly. then he talked of international law and a war wary nation after afghanistan and iraq. what is your take? >> i think both are true.
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something great happened in syria whether the government or opposition is responsibl more likely, the government. >> he laid out a clear red line a year ago. did you get the sense he's willing to do more or trying to step back? >> i think he's still cautious but the events are forcing his hand. we reached a point where the united states cannot ignore what has happened. there's not much more evidence that somebody used chemical agents and that requires a strong reaction from the international community not only because it's important to syria, but also because if we don't act, it's a very bad signal to the rest of the countries around the world who could use this sort of thing in settling issues. >> stand by for a second. i want to tell our viewers and we'll go there live. cnn is told the em battled mayor of san diego is resigning. he is planning to resign. you see here, there's the mayor,
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i believe. okay, these are live pictures. we do not have audio, yet. san diego mayor bob filner has resi resigned. as we told you at the top of the program. let's listen in. >> for those who represent and for my own part in causing all of this, i offer a deep apology, certainly to the citizens of san diego and through you to the citizens you represent. the city should not have been put through this. my own personal failures were responsible. i apologize to the city. i have a lot of supporters out there. >> yeah! yeah! >> thank you, bob. >> i apologize to all of you. i think i let you down.
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we had a chance to do a progressive vision in this city for the first time in 50 years. as i'll say later, we need you to carry that vision forward. this is not a time to let it die. but, i apologize to all of you. i would like to say, especially to my former fiance, i love you very much. you came to love san diego as much as i did. and you did memorable things in the short time that you were first lady. i personally apologize for the hurt that i have caused you. to all the women i offended, i
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had no intention to be offensive. to violate any physical or emotional space. i was trying to establish personal relationships but the combination of awkwardness and led to behavior many found offensive. again, as i have in the past, apologize to all of you and i will try to make amends in any suitable manner. so for any, i should say for the part that i have played and i take responsibility for putting the city through a very bad time, again, i apologize to all of you. certainly was never my intention to be a mayor who went out like
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this. now i have to caution the council about one thing, the city. i started my political career facing lynch mobs. i think we have just faced one here in san diego. you are going to have to deal with that. a lynch mob mentality, rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment which have led to demands of my resignation and recall. not one allegation, members of the council, has been verified or proven in court.
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i have never sexually harassed anyone. but the hysteria that has been created and many of you helped defeat is the hysteria of a lynch mob. now, as i said i faced lynch mobs many times when i was younger. no evidence was needed. the mob knew who was guilty. who needed due process. ladies and gentlemen, democracy needs due process. san diego needs due process. those of you in the media and politics who fed this hysteria, i think need to look at what you helped do because you have unleashed a monster. i think we will pay for this, a front to democracy for a long
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time. now the hysteria plays into the hands of those who want a political coup. the removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor. now i am responsible for providing ammunition. i did that. i take full responsibility. but there are who pointed the gun. and the media and their political agents pulled the trigger. that, ladies and gentlemen, is not what democracy is about. i was elected to make changes. people opposed me from the beginning. they found the weapons they needed in my own failures as a
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human being, but they found those weapons and they used them in a bloody and vicious way. so, you're going to have to deal with that, if you care about democracy. what i would like to leave you with is what i started my campaign on, and that is a vision of what this city ought to be and what we can become. you've watched most of you supported as we looked at balboa park and prepared for the centennial. we got the cars out of plaza de panama for the first time ever. if you haven't been by there, go by. it's an incredible canvas on which we can all paint what the future of balboa park will be. we protected seals and we protected la jolla from the poop from the seals and others.
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we negotiated tens of millions of dollars in savings for you all in our leases of our buildings. we had a structurally balanced budget, and we joined in a five-year labor agreement which for the first time gives us an ability to help our employees and without further vilification of them for those who run our city. as you know, i ran on a platform of neighborhoods, of making them livable, walkable, bikable. we've hired world-class people to help in that, our planning director bill fulton, the incubator that we have established now on the fourth floor with world-class urban thinkers will help prepare the way for really exciting neighborhood adventures. with many of you we put the stress back on public safety. we've had a terrible, terrible downward spiral in the ability
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of this city to provide adequate fire and police protection. we've started to reverse it. i hope you will continue to do that. our economy is still fragile. but we work together to prevent a vision for our port and the expansion of trade and thousands of jobs. we started to solarize or use alternative energy on all the public buildings that are owned by not only the city but the county and the school district, which will not only do our part for the environment but create, again, hundreds if not thousands of jobs. we tried to make the border more efficient which will put billions of dollars in our economy. and through all this i've tried to look at the working people of san diego, those who struggle every day to make this city great. and i have to particularly thank the leaders of our working
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community, the labor community, for helping me not only in the first seven months but last few weeks. i needed both the time and the support to reflect on what matters to me personally as well as the confidence to know the city will move forward, and labor leaders helped me on both fronts. they encouraged me to seek professional help, which i did and i'm continuing. they allowed me to focus on what's best for everyone who's lives i have to influence. and when it seemed that a lot of the political structure was paralyzed and distracted by my personal situation, labor leaders worked with my staff and the city council and you passed a prevailing wage measure, which will provide a real boost to our working families and to our local economy and to local taxpayers. i ran for office to advance these kind of policies and i can leave confident now that labor will continue to pull our community together as we need
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them. i hope you will look at the book i recommended to all of you called "the first industrial revolution." it says what we have to do as a city, a region, a state and a nation to deal with climate change and the loss of fossil fuel future. we've introduced, i hope you will pass, a climate action plan. but we wanted to be the first city in north america to accomplish the first industrial revolution. i hope you will look at that. we've extended, as you have all helped with, our support for the arts and culture in this community to really help the homeless and unemployed veterans get their self-respect back. and as you know, as a city our particular, particular strength comes from our position as part of the biggest binational
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metropolitan area in the world. we've had a tremendous acceleration of our relationships with tijuana and with mexico, which i hope you will continue. we have an office there now. the planning for a binational olympic bid is in the works. i hope you will not be put off by gloom and doom about that ability. it is the most exciting thing that we can do as a region, and i hope and just the planning of it will be exciting for us to pull forward -- to move forward. and through this all as i have done through why whole life, we've stressed that the strength of this city is on its diversity. and i don't have to tell you. you know. this city is a majority of people of color. and yet if you look at any economic or political group in
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this city, you can't tell that. we have not tapped the full strength of the diversity of this community. we are all in this together, ladies and gentlemen, and we are stronger when we include everybody at the table, everybody at the economic table, everybody at the political table. we're all in this together. obviously this is the toughest decision of my life. you all know me to be a fighter. i made promises to the people of san diego to give everyone an equal opportunity, a chance to be heard, a chance to have that seat at the table. that vision terrified a lot of folks. and the fight for control of
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this city has become, as i said, vicious and bloody. unfortunately on my own, and you all helped cut off any support for that, i can't afford to continue this battle. even though i know if given due process, i would be vindicated. it's not my nature to walk away from a fight, and i want the people of san diego to know my vision that you voted for in the mayoral election will not die. now, lord knows, i am not perfect. i made a lot of mistakes. but in my heart, my desire for a progressive world will drive me to keep going. i will not give up. and in the final analysis, of course, politics is not about
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any of us as individuals. it should not be about me, but ideas that move us forward. whoever will be the next mayor, my hope is that these ideas that have resonated with our san diego communities are continued and respected. i was at madison square garden when ted kennedy said in 1980, as he conceded to president carter in the nomination for the democratic president, the work goes on. the cause endures. the hope still lives. and the dream shall never die. thank you, members of the council. >> you're watching a dramatic pictures are the democratic mayor of san diego bob filner at times contrite, at times defiant
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announcing his resignation effective one week from today, the mayor has been accused by 18 women of sexual harassment this as a deal brokered by the city council. we don't have the financial details of the deal, but the mayor said he had no choice but to resign. those are the women that accused him of physically sexually assaulting them. he apologized to the residents of the city and to his staff and he apologized to his former fiance, but then his tone shifted, he said he'd been the victim of a political lynch mob, a coup he called it. he said he had no choice but to step down. this a process brokered. the mayor said he would not leave. he said he would get financial counseling and therapy and he did that for a short time, but in the end this deal brokered with the san diego city council, bob filner after weeks and weeks of fighting, he will step down, but he said if given due process he would be vindicated. he said he never meant to offend
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anyone, a combination of hubris. we'll continue to cover this story, erin burnett "outfront" starts now. good evening, i'm ashleigh banfield in for erin burnett. we're continuing our breaking news. have you ever watched a long resignation in progress? because that's what you're doing now. the san diego mayor, bob filner, with the city council giving what can only be described as a bit of an off-the-rails depa departu departure. it is remarkable the details. i'm just going to let this speak for itself. listen in. >> so, i'm going to go through the terms. i'll explain them. they're really not all that complicated. and we'll then have some comments from the council members. it's up on the screen and there's also a hand-out in which i've tried to summarize what this is about. first what this settlement is not about.